Monday, April 8, 2013

More information about the 2013 strawberry virus outbreak

Many of you probably have seen an article in today's Raleigh News and Observer about virus problems in this year's strawberry crop. The Plant Disease and Insect Clinic has received several strawberry samples with virus problems in the past few months.

Here are some comments from Dr. Frank Louws, Extension Specialist for Strawberry Diseases in NCSU's Department of Plant Pathology about the strawberry virus situation:

This link will take you to an excellent article from Dr. Chuck Johnson at Virginia Tech about this year's strawberry virus outbreak. All the information for Virginia is true for NC and other states with this problem. The main question growers ask is: “What can we expect in yields?”. We have only limited experience with these viruses in our annual systems. However, we had a case of Strawberry Mild Yellow Edge Virus (SMYEV) in 2004, as shown below in Sweet Charlie plants photographed at full harvest. About 25 to 30% of the plants were affected by the virus and the virus dramatically affected plant growth and yield, as seen in the picture. This year, two viruses, SMYEV and Strawberry Mottle Virus (SMoV), have been diagnosed from problem fields. We do not know how these viruses will affect crop yields in 2013, but some reductions are expected. Specific recommendations for dealing with this problem can be found in Dr. Johnson’s article. With good management, this problem should not recur in future years.